Crazy Williez Brewery: Simple Beer That’s Simply Great

 

If you enjoy simple, country charm, a fun atmosphere, good people and even better beer, then Crazy Williez Brewery is the place for you. As I navigated my way around the back country roads of Ilion, NY, making my way to the brewery located at 546 Silver Street, I couldn’t help but think that this is the epitome of New York State farm country. Being that Crazy Williez is a true farm brewery, the surrounding countryside with its rolling fields, huge dairy barns and pastures containing herds of dairy cattle are the perfect backdrop for this down home delight. The brewery opened in October of 2017 after co-owner and co-founder Grant Gasstrom, decided to plant a small field of hops a few years prior to that date. Located on the Gasstrom family farm property, this brewery has an atmosphere that makes you want to stop in for a quick beer and stay until they close the doors. Rustic charm is the best way to describe this Amish built building, but that’s where the rustic ends. Modern touches, such as the cell phone charging stations located around the building make for a comfortable experience without ever losing that homespun charm. Crazy Williez uses modern brewing techniques to produce some very good brews, combining the farm to table concept with craft brewing that makes this a true New York State farm brewery. Being a farm brewery, Crazy Williez makes sure to get as many of their ingredients as possible locally, including the hops, which can be seen growing in the field as you pull into the parking lot. This is a great destination for any craft beer enthusiast and to make it even better, the brewery is family friendly, so you can stop in for some food and drinks (including water and soda) with the whole family, anytime.

Walking into the brewery, I was greeted by “beertender,” Pete, who was one of the main highlights of my experience. After meeting Pete and deciding whether to get a Flight or a Fleet (I went with a Fleet), I spoke with co-owner Grant who, often times, can be found behind the bar, along with partners Traci DeLore, Grant’s sister and her husband, Mark. Grant, a very approachable and all around good guy, gave me a quick history of the brewery and a nice little tour. Crazy Williez beer menu included some great brews from New York State breweries, such as Empire and Good Nature, not to mention having a few New York State wines from Hummingbird Hills and Herron Hill, as well as craft liquor from distilleries like Cooperstown Distillery, Old Home Distillery and Black Button. While that’s all well and good, I prefer to focus on their brews. Orange Is The New Beer is a tasty pale ale with a nice citrus flavor and good hoppy balance. Next is Tropical Moo, which is a unique take on a traditional Heffeizen, adding pineapple to make a light bodied, fruity and refreshing beer you can enjoy any time. Finally, my favorite was the Udder Delight, a nice medium bodied milk stout that was smooth, creamy and just plain good. Crazy Williez is featuring local entertainers and local food trucks, now that spring is upon us. Be sure to check their Facebook page for the schedule of entertainment and food trucks, as well as their current drink menu. Stop in get yourself a growler to take home, enjoy good beer with good people and support this very cool, local brewery, because, like their shirts say, “Life’s Crazy, Drink Simple.”

 

Crazy Williez Brewery 4-1-1

Where: 546 Silver Street Ilion, NY
When: Thurs. & Fri. 5-10 p.m., Sat. Noon-10 p.m. and Sun. Noon-6 p.m.
Why: Life’s Crazy, Drink Simple

 

 

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Ted Snyder / The Fuze Magazine
Photo Credit / Jo Meek

 

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